Start reading Pseudoscience and the Paranormal on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Pseudoscience and the Paranormal [Kindle Edition]

Terence Hines
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $11.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $22.99
Kindle Price: $9.59
You Save: $13.40 (58%)

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $9.59  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $16.27  

Book Description

Popular culture fills the mind with a steady diet of fantasy, from tales of UFO landings and alien abductions, haunted houses, and communication with the dead to claims of miraculous cures by spiritaul healers and breakthrough treatments in "alternative" medicine. The paranormal--and the pseudoscience that attempts to validate it--is so ubiquitous that many people lose sight of the distinction between the real and the imaginary, and some never learn to make the distinction in the first place.

In this updated and expanded edition of PSEUDOSCIENCE AND THE PARANORMAL, the most comprehensive and up-to-date work of its kind, psychologist and neuroscientist Terence Hines explores the question of evidence for the paranormal and delves beyond it to one that is even more puzzling: Why do people continue to believe in the reality of the supernatural despite overwhelming evidence that it does not exist?

Devoting separate chapters to psychics, life after death, parapsychology, astrology, UFOs, faith healing, alternative medicine, and many other topics, Hines examines the empirical evidence supporting these popular paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. New to this edition are extended sections on psychoanalysis and pseudopsychologies, especially recovered memory therapy, satanic ritual abuse, and facilitated communication. Also included are new chapters on "alternative" medicine and environmental pseudoscience.

Critiquing the whole range of current paranormal claims, this carefully researched, thorough review of pseudoscience and the paranormal in contemporary life shows readers how to carefuly evaluate such claims in terms of scientific evidence. This scholarly yet readable volume is an invaluable reference work for students and general readers alike.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Terence M. Hines (Pleasantville, NY) is professor of psychology at Pace University, and the author of the first edition of Pseudoscience and the Paranormal.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1892 KB
  • Print Length: 524 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1573929794
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; 2 Sub edition (June 30, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003UD7RMS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,998 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pseudoscience: the secular religion April 18, 2003
According to Terrence Hines, "The continued claims by proponents of pseudoscience constitute nothing short of consumer fraud," a fraud that costs the American public billions of dollars each year. In debunking the most widely believed contrary-to-fact beliefs, he devotes several pages to explaining how cold readings are accomplished in sufficient detail to satisfy all but the incurably giullible that the psychic scam relies on the Barnum dictum that there is a sucker born every minute. He shows that passages by Nostrodamus widely interpreted as foretelling the rise and fall of Napoleon could equally well be applied to Ferdinand II, Adolf Hitler, or any European ruler whose governance was less than beneficial. He also shows that a novel retroactively interpreted as a prediction of the sinking of the Titanic conformed to all of the circumstances that a book about an ocean liner sinking was virtually obliged to incorporate in order to be plausible.
Hines' chapter on psychoanalysis should be mandatory reading for all persons who still believe Sigmund Freud's imbecilic fantasy differs in any qualitative way from spilling one's guts to a bartender, taxi driver or hetaera, particularly TV scriptwriters who regularly portray psychoshrinks as something other than self-deluded humbugs.
Hines catalogues an abundance of evidence that polygraphs are no more effective as lie detectors than tossing a coin, "Heads it's the truth and tails it's a lie." He described an experiment conducted by "Sixty Minutes," in which polygraph operators from several firms were asked to determine which CBS employee was responsible for a series of thefts. Each operator was given a hint that a particular individual was the prime suspect.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Virtual Encyclopedia of Bogus Ideas and Beliefs December 11, 2000
I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to immunize themselves against irrational beliefs in the strange and unexplained. This is one of the better books on the subject, even though some entries are treated unfairly such as Chiropractic. In fact, some schools and colleges actually use this as a textbook and make it required reading.
The author covers many areas in this book and offers, for the most part, sound reasons for not believing in the subjects he is attempting to debunk. The book is very detailed, but still very readable.
Anyone who enjoyed this book should also check out the following: Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World, James Randi's Flim Flam, and Henry Gordon's Extra Sensory Deception. These books, along with the book being reviewed, are among the best available dealing with the subject of debunking paranormal claims. They should all be read to help build what Carl Sagan calls a "Baloney Detection Kit".
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insights into everyday irrational beliefs June 15, 1997
By A Customer
Entertaining and engaging, this book presents insight into widely accepted "bad arguments." Less stuffy than any Introduction to Logic text, Hines takes the reader on a guided tour of every illogically-supported belief in America, from UFOs to Christianity. Be warned, however; almost everyone has a personal "irrational belief" -- and none of them get kid-glove treatment here. A real eye-opener
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Primer-Encyclopaedia on irrational beliefs December 11, 1999
A very complete way to review the sceptical/scientific approach to XX Century paranormal myths, hoaxes and scams. Highly commendable as a first book on the subject, and with the excellent bibliographic index, it would guide very well any reader interested on learning more on the matter, (although Hines' treatment of the subject, at over 300 pages, is quite thorough in itself). By the way, I found the other review (a reader, 1997) very useful, but I am not sure what I voted (boxes are not too clear as to which is which)
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gift of Rational Thinking May 3, 2004
As a medical writer who has become more and more interested in alternative medicine, being able to think clearly and evaluate rationally has been one of my greatest strengths. I owe much of this to Dr. Hines, who deftly explains why so much pseudoscience is plain old junk, while keeping an open mind about things that are still under investigation. He even manages to do this in an interesting, amusing, and entertaining way.
People really want to believe in the paranormal, and rarely want to have their beliefs challenged with rational explanations. Why let the truth get in the way of a good story? But the truth is the truth, and sometimes, when Dr. Hines tells it, it's even better than the fiction.
Most people think that having an open mind means being receptive to strange and "unbelievable" things. I think that having an open mind means being receptive to all possibilities -- including those that indicate that some unbelievable things really shouldn't BE believed. If you consider yourself an rational thinker, take the time to read this book, and give it to others as a truly magical gift -- the gift of reason.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for critical thinkers! February 19, 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One reviewer inaccurately states that this book is nothing but a compendium of the author's "personal biases." Nothing could be further from the truth; instead this is a wonderful and highly readable work that exposes pseudoscientific charlatanry for what it is. Hines' work is concise and easy to understand. He cites numerous studies to support his assertions, enabling the reader to cross-reference additional material if desired. Perhaps most important are the concepts of the irreducible minimum and the irrefutable hypothesis, both of which are often used by pseudoscientists to justify otherwise unsupportable positions for which they lack sufficient data.
Hines makes the point that credulous 'believers' are more likely to ignore or twist evidence that doesn't fit their pre-conceived beliefs about a given subject, whereas 'non-believers' are generally more open to new material -- even if it contradicts what they've already learned. Surprisingly, studies have been performed that confirm this assertion, and thus it's not surprising (sad as it may be) that our world is full of people who continue to believe in Atlantis, psychic phenomena, creationism, channeling, and other pap philosophies despite all logic and evidence to the contrary.
The book also contains significant material describing the reasons that scientists are sometimes hoodwinked by charlatans and hoaxers; as James "The Amazing" Randi has also pointed out, often it takes a trained magician to catch someone who's attempting to deceive a researcher.
Highly recommended to anyone who's studying human behavior, folklore, or the difference between real science and pseudoscience. This book also should be required reading in public school science classes, and for legislators who are too often lacking in understanding where science is concerned.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Helps you understand goofy neighbor
Excellent reference for handling the neighbor that's always telling you about something weird they heard or saw on TV. Read more
Published 4 days ago by boneclub
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent reference.
Published 1 month ago by Zack_Sagan
2.0 out of 5 stars Pseudo-debunkery, more like
Dr Hines does an excellent job of reminding us that every needle has its ginormous haystack. ... Not that that was the intent of this skeptic's guide to the pseudo-paranormal ---... Read more
Published 15 months ago by BLS
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, fun to read
One of my college professors wrote this book (Terence Hines), and the class that he taught to go along with the book was phenomenal. Read more
Published 20 months ago by KSO
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
This is one of the most credible sources for scientific explanations of bogus paranormal claims and so called psychic phenomena. The book is well researched and very well written. Read more
Published 22 months ago by james currie
2.0 out of 5 stars Skeptical? Kinda'. Accurate? No.
First, when reading it, the author claimed that acupuncture had actual medical value. The author uses this as an example why we shouldn't dismiss seemingly ridiculous claims out of... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Freethinking Freak
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be in every thinking person's library
This is an excellent book. Other 4 and 5-star reviewers have already pointed out almost everything I could say here. Read more
Published on September 23, 2011 by Claudio Di Gregorio
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!
Being a skepticism buff, I declare this book THE ABSOLUTE authority on the scientific aspect of debunking of the paranormal and pseudoscience!!! Read more
Published on May 20, 2007 by N. Salomon
1.0 out of 5 stars Piece of trash
This book was truely vomitous. What a shame that even a single tree had to die so that the putrid words of the incompetent author could appear in print. What dross! Read more
Published on August 20, 2006 by Dr. Alan Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Pseudoscience Demolished!
This book is an excellent primer for any non-closed-minded, rational thinker who wants the claptrap of pseudoscientific thinking (ESP, astrology, etc.) debunked and demystified. Read more
Published on February 11, 2006 by steve
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for Similar Items by Category